7 foods to try in Spain

7 foods to try in Spain

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

From authentic pizza in Rome to Guinness in Dublin, we’ve done a lot of tasting and traveling in our past two years in Europe. By far, our favorite spot for food is Spain. From sizzling tapas, freshly-caught seafood and aromatic spices, Spanish food is nothing short of amazing. Here are seven culinary delights to try on your next trip to Spain.

 

Patatas bravas

I could eat potatoes in any form every day and be happy. I feel the same affections for spicy food. When you combine the two … heavenly tapas. Patatas bravas are chunks of golden deep-fried potato goodness served with a spicy tomato aioli sauce. These savory morsels are usually served tapas-style.

 

Gambas al ajilo

Another tapas staple, gambas al ajilo, is sure to ward off any vampires. Popular in central and southern Spain, this dish is essentially sizzling garlic with prawns and olive oil. Some incorporate parsley and lemon juice or add subtle flavors with sherry (or brandy) and red chili pepper.

 

Tostas de tomate y jamón

What do you get when you smear vine-ripened tomato on slices of fresh, crusty bread and top it with smoky Iberico ham? Pure deliciousness. For a late breakfast, try it with a fried egg or fresh queso.

 

 

 

Tortilla Española

Forget about the dry, over-processed Frisbees usually used as a holding vessel for tacos. In Spain, tortillas are actually light, fluffy omelet-like dishes.  Traditional ingredients include sliced potatoes, chopped onions and eggs. Depending on the region, you may find variations that include spicy chorizo, earthy mushrooms or juicy tomatoes. This national dish can be found in just about any Spanish restaurant or tapas bar.

 

Créma Catalana

As you break through the caramelized sugar crust, you’ll be reminded of a very similar dessert — Crème Brulee. Borrowed from the French, Créma Catalana adds just enough flavors to make it unique. The custard is brightly flavored with a citrus zest, which is complemented with dashes of cinnamon. This rich dessert is a must-taste at least once.

 

Pisto

This hearty veggie dish hails from the La Mancha and Murcia region. A perfect blend of tomatoes, onions, eggplant, green and red peppers, pisto is the Spanish version of ratatouille. Top it with a fried egg and pair with fresh bread for a lazy weekend meal.

 

Paella

Known as the national dish of Spain, paella found its humble beginnings in the southeast region of Valencia. Bomba rice, tomatoes, saffron, a smattering of vegetables and local game or meat combine to make the perfect harmony of flavors. My favorite way to enjoy paella is with ice-cold sangria and lively conversation.

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